Peter Hickman has produced one of the performances of the season to secure a double podium at Thruxton to ignite his Bennetts British Superbike championship top six charge after spending the night in hospital with a kidney infection.

After struggling throughout Saturday’s practice and qualifying, Hickman was taken to Winchester hospital overnight and diagnosed with a kidney infection. After spending the night in hospital on an IV drip, Hickman was discharged less than two hours before race one having missed Sunday’s warm-up session.

Hickman then produced a gritty effort in race one to claim third place, profiting from a last-lap clash between Josh Brookes and Jason O’Halloran at the Club chicane, before going one better in race two to take second place behind Brookes.

The Smiths Racing BMW rider’s double rostrum sees him move just seven points off the top six, with FS-3 Racing Kawasaki’s Danny Buchan in sixth place, heading towards Cadwell Park and Silverstone – both circuits the Lincolnshire rider favours.

“it was the weekend that we needed, expect for the being ill bit, Smiths Racing BMW has been working ace right from first practice and all day Friday,” Hickman said.

“I have a kidney infection, it took a couple of hours to figure out – both my kidneys are not too good and it has given me a bit of lower back pain and a fever – which was not ideal in this heat, but I feel okay today. I am not 100% but I have been on an IV last night.

“We ran the same set-up as last year but in the race the guys around me were battling too much which let Josh get away [in race two]. Every time I got past Jake he absolutely hammered me at the next corner. It cost us half a second every time so we got further away.

“I got into a rhythm towards the end but Leon lunged at me in the chicane so we lost everything that we gained again.

“I was trying to be smooth like Josh but maybe I saved my tyre too much at the end as I did a 1m 15.9s on the last lap which is probably too quick so I should have gone earlier but that’s the way it goes.

“The second half of the season is always better for me anyway as it suits my style a bit more. It was a tough start to this year and we knew this weekend would be pivotal to the season so thankfully we’ve managed to salvage so fingers crossed for Cadwell Park and Silverstone. I usually go well at both of them so hopefully I get back up at the sharp end.”